On Monday, Aug. 19, 2019, Business Roundtable, a group of 181 CEO from some of the biggest corporations in the U.S. (including Apple, American Airlines, Accenture, AT&T, Bank of America, Boeing, Comcast, J.P. Morgan Chase and Co.) Revised their statement on the purpose of a corporation. As it says in their press release, “Each version of the document issued since 1997 has endorsed principles of shareholder primacy – that corporations exist principally to serve shareholders. With today’s announcement, the new Statement supersedes previous statements and outlines a modern standard for corporate responsibility.”
An open letter to the CEOs of Business Roundtable
Bob Chapman, CEO and Chairman, Barry-Wehmiller
Dear Business Roundtable CEOs and business leaders everywhere,
Hope! That’s what I immediately felt when browsing Monday’s coverage of Business Roundtable’s new statement. I found myself nodding my head at much of the language used in your statement to redefine your vision of the purpose of a corporation.
It reads that “Americans deserve an economy that allows each person to succeed through hard work and creativity and to lead a life of meaning and dignity.” That each of your stakeholders are “essential.” And you “commit to deliver value to all of them, for the future success of our companies, our communities and our country.” Aside from the fact that I believe everyone – not just Americans – deserve those things, I agree with your vision wholeheartedly! Bravo! Changing mindsets is a monumental first step. And public declaration of your intent represents a watershed moment in American capitalism.
Now the real work must begin…